Monday, January 8, 2024

Living The Jesus Way - Character

Monday, January 8, 2024 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Matthew 5:3-10

Living The Jesus Way - Character 

Yesterday we started a new series on The Sermon on the Mount called The Jesus Way with a look at the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are the eight statements of Jesus found in Matthew Chapter 5 that describe the person who has the character of Christ. The definition of character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. These statements tell of a person who has a distinct character and way of life because they belong to the Kingdom of God. When we become Christians, there should be a dynamic shift in every area of our lives - a difference that should be evident to all those around us.    

With Christ in our hearts our words, actions, decisions, and character should change to reflect His presence in our lives. As we grow in our relationship with Him and we mature in our Christian walk, The Jesus Way will flow from our hearts. The more we fill ourselves with Him the more we will be like Him, and the more others will see Him through us. 

What does character have to do with life in the Kingdom of God and how do we live it out daily? Our character is directly influenced by our relationship with Christ. When we live out the values and principles of His Kingdom with our whole lives every day, we are a living testimony of who He is and what He has done in our hearts. Every decision, word, reaction, and choice are all sifted through Him – His word, His truth and commands, and prayer for guidance from Him.  

As you reflect on your own life, how many of these character traits do you see in yourself: Do you realize your spiritual destitution and deep need for God? Do you mourn your sinfulness and seek comfort in His forgiveness and mercy? Are you humble and not prideful or arrogant? Do you hunger and thirst to know more of Him? Are you merciful and forgiving to those who hurt or offend you? Do you seek to please only Him above all and in all things? Do you try bringing peace into tense situations or do you like to “stir the pot?” Are you willing to suffer, or be criticized because of your belief in God and/or living your life in alignment with His commands? It sounds like a lot, but when we walk with Him and fill ourselves with more of Him, living The Jesus Way will be a natural result. 

What needs to change so that you can live in The Jesus Way? Here are a couple of actionable steps you can take this week: 

  • Be intentional this week with the words you say, your reactions to the situations and people around you and the choices you make. Pause for just a moment to reflect and ask yourself, “Will this glorify Jesus Christ and help others see Him through my words and actions.”
  •  Living The Jesus Way only happens when we fill ourselves with more of Him. Make spending time with Him a priority. Pray, study, and bring Him into every part of your day. Find a discipleship partner – someone you can talk with, grow with, and find accountability in. Join a Bible study – all our Wednesday Bible studies start back this Wednesday evening! There are other opportunities for Bible studies that meet at other times during the week as well. 

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